Over the next few decades, the Latinx population is set to double. Alongside these shifts are predictions that the power and influence of our community will grow as well. Given the history and current reality, we cannot make this assumption. Alongside these numbers of growth is the proliferating criminalization in our communities, deportations and discrimination. It’s getting harder and harder to find stable work, attain a quality debt-free education or get help in tough times. Not to mention climate change. As the youngest community demographically, our young people and future generations face even greater challenges.
Despite this, we have seen over and over that Latinx people work to make this country run and are throwing down to make things better. We are part of the labor movement; we are media makers, base-builders, artists, action-takers and those who want to get involved but don’t know where to start. That’s one of the reasons why we started Mijente, to provide that starting point.
Mijente was born in 2015 after the #Not1More Deportation campaign in recognition that we needed to build a vehicle to confront the challenges of our time and respond to the growing threats to the Latinx community. For too long we have been conveniently portrayed as a voting bloc that only cares about immigration. To add insult to injury, we’ve seen immigrants’ lives worsen. Our futures are peddled and traded off as if they are pawns in a political game.
It’s said that if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu - or they expect you to pick, cook and serve the food. We believe that the change we need isn’t just going to happen, we have to make it happen. To do that, we’ve got to organize. We’ve got to become the people who make things happen rather than those that things just happen to. At Mijente, no venimos de rodillas. We want to feel pride and confidence in our communities’ ability to not just survive, but thrive and bring about tangible change.